The Triumphal Song of Merneptah

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"In the year V., on the third day of the third month of the period of inundation, under the Majesty of Horus Ra, the strong bull, high in (?) truth, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Ba-en-ra Meriamen, son of Ra, Merenptah-Hetephermaat the increaser of power, raising the victorious sword of Horus-Ra, the strong bull, smiting the Nine Bows (foreigners) whose name endures to all eternity."

(a) Introduction
"Report of his triumph in all lands, proclama-
tion to all lands together in order that may be known
the glory of the deeds of victory of King Merenptah,
the bull, the Lord of power.
Slaughtering his enemies.
Beautiful in the field of victory.
His attack is the sun,
Which frightens away the clouds that stand over Egypt.
He causes Egypt to see the sunbeams,
And overthrows the brazen mountain.
From the neck of the people;
He gives freedom to men who languish in imprisonment.
He avenges Memphis upon its enemies.
He causes Ptah Totunen to rejoice over his foes.
He opens the gates of the City of Walls (Memphis) which were closed,
He causes the temples to receive again their meal offerings,
King Merenptah, he who makes firm the hearts of
hundreds of thousands and of millions."

(b) The Defeat of Libya.
"At the sight of him the breath of life enters their nostrils,
The land of Temehu (Libyan tribe) stands open during his lifetime.
Eternal terror is laid in the heart of the Masha-washa (Libyan tribe)
He makes the tribe of the Lehu withdraw, having invaded Egypt.
Great fear of Egypt is in their hearts.
They were come their face in front (?)
They were turned backward (?)
Their legs did not stay firm, but fled.
Their archers threw their bows away.
Their runners were weary of (?) marching.
They unbound their skins
And threw them to the ground.
Their sacks (?) were taken and poured out (?)
The wretched conquered Prince of Libya fled,
Under the protection of the night.
Alone, without the plume on his head.
His feet failed (?)
His women were taken away before his face,
The provisions (?) of his store (?) were plundered,
He had no water skin for his sustenance,
His brothers plotted his murder,
His officers fought with one another,
Their camp was burned, made to ashes (?)
His whole property became a booty of the soldiers.
Arriving in his country he lamented,
Every one in his country was ashamed to receive him (?)
Punished prince, evil fate, ' feather '! (?)
Called him all the inhabitants of his city.
He is in the power of the gods, the Lords of Memphis.
The ruler of Egypt has cursed his name,
Mauroy is an abomination to Memphis,
With every descendant of his family forever;
Barter a- Meriainun pursues his children,
Merneptali-Hetepherntaat is sent to him as a Fate,
He is become a proverb (?) for Libya.
The young men tell each other of his victories:
Since the time of Ra such has never happened to us! (?)
All old men tell to their sons:
Woe (?) over Libya!
One can no longer go pleasantly in the fields.
In a single day our walking has been made impossible,
In one year the Tehenu have been burned.
Sutech has turned his back to their princes.
Their settlements are wasted on account of him (.?)
In those days one did not carry baskets, (.')
It was best to hide one's self.
One is safe (only) in the citadel (?).
The great ruler of Egypt,
Might and strength belong to him.
Who dares to fight, knowing his step!
A wretched and mad one is he who resists him.
He who transgresses his command.
Does not see the next day.
For Egypt is called since the reign of the gods.
The only daughter of Ra,
His son sitting upon the throne of Shu, the sun of Ra.
His heart is not forbearing (.?) towards him.
Who outrages his inhabitants.
The eye of every god pursues him
Who abuses the
It brings up the most distant foes —
Thus they speak (sc. the old men)
The seers of the stars (i*)
Who know their meaning observing them say: (?)
A great wonder has come to pass in Egypt,
He has made him whom his hand reached, A living prisoner.
The divine King triumphs (.') over his enemies before Ra.
Mauroy, the evil doer, is dashed down (?) by every god of Memphis.
He (sc. Ra) judges him in Heliopolis,
And the assembly of the gods declares him guilty of his crimes.

The Lord of the All says:
Give the sword of victory.
To my true-hearted, good and mild son Merenptah,
Who cares for Memphis (?)
And defends Heliopolis (?)
The cities closed shall be opened again.
He shall free many enchained in each district (?)
And give sacrifices to the temples (again).
He shall bring incense before the god again.
He shall bring back (?) again to the great their property,
And let the poor return (?) into their cities. —
The Lords of Heliopolis say to their son Merenptah:
May a long lifetime be his lot,
For he has defended the oppressed (?) of every foreign land.
Egypt shall be given to him as the heritage (?)
Of him, who has placed him (?)
As administrator for himself forever (?).
(For) his strength is its people.
Behold one is sitting safe in the time of the strong (?)
The breeze of life is on his arms (?)

The following is told:
Mauroy the wretched conquered prince of Libya came.
To attack the walls of the Prince (Memphis),
And [of] every (god) (?) who lets his son be brilliant upon his seat.
The King of Upper and Lower Egypt Merenptah. —

Ptah speaks to the prince of Libya:
All his crimes shall be collected.
And shall fall back upon his head;
He shall be given into the hand of Merenptah,
That he may cause him to spit out.
What he has swallowed as a crocodile.
As the hastener brings up the hastening (?),
The Lord (i.e. Pharoah) shall seize him,
That he may know (?) his power.
Amon shall bind him with his hand,
And give him over to his Ka in Hermonthis,
King of Upper and Lower Egypt Merenptah. —
Great joy shall rule in Ketnet,
Exultation shall rush forth from the cities of Tamera;
They shall tell of the victories,
Which Merenptah has won over the Tehenu, crying:
How dear is he the prince of the victory!
How great is the king among the gods!
How happy is he the Lord who commands!

One is talking:
Come far out upon the roads,
There is no fear in the heart of men.
The castles are abandoned…
The wells opened (again),
The messengers return home {})
The battlements lie calm in the sun (?)
Until their guards awake.
The soldiers lie in sleep
The Nawt and the Tektina are in the marsh they like,
The cattle are let on the pasture (?) (again).
No one fears (?) to go on the high Nile.
By night resounds not the cry: (?)
Stop! or come, come! (?) in the mouth of the people.
One goes with singing (?)
There is no more the lament of sighing man.
The villages are settled anew.
He who has tilled his crop will eat it."

(c) The Defeat of the other Enemies of Egypt.
"(For) Ra has turned himself again to Egypt;
He is born to avenge it,
The King of Upper and Lower Egypt Banera
Meriamen, sun of Ra Merenptah-Hetephermaat.
The princes bend down, saying 'Hail!'
Not one raises his head among the Nine bows.
Devastated is Tehenu,
Kheta is quieted,
Seized is the Kanaan with every evil,
Led away is Askelon,
Taken is Gezer,
Yenoam is brought to nought,
The people of Israel is laid waste, — their crops are not,
Khor has become as a widow for Egypt,
All lands together — they are in peace.
Every one who roamed about
Is punished by King Merenptah, gifted with life,
like the sun every day."